Your home's ductwork can be an asset or a hindrance to your forced air heating and cooling system. Ductwork is the system of tubes that carry air from your HVAC equipment to the rooms in your home and then back again to your equipment. Leaky ducts may be costing you in energy losses year-round.
Your ductwork should be a sealed system. Here are three ways to use duct sealing to cut your energy losses and make your home more comfortable by allowing more warmed or cooled air to reach your living spaces:
- Repair loose connections. Ducts come in sections. Where the sections join, they must be completely sealed. If you see or feel gaps at connections in your ducts, you or your certified HVAC technician can use a mastic sealing agent or metal tape to stop the conditioned air from leaking out. Don't use duct tape. It breaks down in a short time, and your air leaks will continue.
- Check registers and returns. Inside your home, air registers and outgoing air returns must be tight. That, too, is part of good duct sealing. Loose vents allow air to be lost inside walls, in the attic or under the floor. Tight vents ensure that your heated or cooled air flows inside the house.
- Insulation. Insulation is essential on exposed ducts. In an unheated basement, crawl space or attic, if you can see the metal of your ductwork, you are losing energy and money. Insulation on exposed ducts reduces the wasteful transfer of heat between your ducts and the unconditioned spaces they travel through. Make sure the duct insulation is in good shape and the proper R-value for your area.
Paul Wadsworth is the President and Owner of P.K. Wadsworth Heating and Cooling. For 37 years, Paul has been providing heating and cooling services to the Greater Cleveland area. P.K. Wadsworth has been a trusted Cleveland HVAC service company for 75 years. The company understand the area's construction and local heating and air conditioning needs. Paul has an MBA from the University of Michigan and a B.S., Industrial Engineering from Purdue University. He's been President of the Cleveland Air Conditioning Contractors of America and a founding member of the local chapter. Paul was born and raised in Cleveland and has been active in the local community. He resides in Cleveland, Ohio with his wife and two sons.
The opinions and statements contained in this article are for general informational purposes only and are not instructions. Only trained, licensed and experienced personnel should attempt installation/repair. The author assumes no liability for the opinions/statements made in this article. Any individual attempting a repair or installation based on this article does so at their own risk of loss.